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Old May 7th, 2005, 11:53 AM   #91
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If you think getting your S16 to be a hit and get blown up to 35mm is a long shot, run the math on video produced projects. The ratio would be past astronomical.

Technology is evolution, not revolution. Market forces drive the business. Digital technology is helping to level the playing field, and giving access to many aspirants who would have had no chance even a few years ago. However, simply declaring a mainstream production format "dead" because its not your distribution format, and also doesn't meet your personal idea of budget, workflow, etc. is seeing things in a very provincial way, and may impede your ability to use all the technology available.
The argument can be made that HD is the perfect distribution medium for
film, because its the only video that is capable of displaying some of the resolution, and some of the dynamic range film is capable of.

The cost of film production is entirely relative to the budget. However, once again I would point out, that production and distribution formats are not the same thing. Projects that are produced in HD are not generally delivered in thier native codecs. A fast computer, and fast pipeline are viable ways to deliver HD content, but it is not currently the way the majority of audiences recieve or view content.

And by the way, I shoot plenty of Varicam and CineAlta HD, and make good money at it.
I do accept it, and I also know exactly what it is, and what it is capable of as a production format. Rejecting anything out of hand is not a progressive attitude. Lucas had many good reasons for his choices, and Star Wars cost plenty of money, so that's not the best one to hold up in the "cost of film production will kill you" category. Most film is transfered, then edited on an NLE, and then output to any format, including HD, or the negative is conformed to the NLE EDL, and prints are timed and struck at the end of that process, so thats not so different as you might think. There is also now the option of digital intermediary, and stuck in the rut old fogeys studio stooges such as the Coen Brothers, working with Roger Deakins, ASC, have done some astounding work with it.

Different production formats evolve to serve the needs of the production industry. Someone who embraces all options, and seeks to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the individual options is truly progressive. Making a format into a belief system is an "age old idea".
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Old May 7th, 2005, 01:43 PM   #92
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Tommy makes some interesting points.

Many of us on this board are anticipating the excitment of getting to use higher resolution tools such as the HVX in a similar fashion as we use miniDV currently.

However... Tommy makes some really cool points on alternative uses of HD, especially in broadcast and for private institutions. The overall improvment in video quality will have impacts way beyond just our desires to shoot on more professional formats.

All its gonna take is some kid to figure out the workflow and really demonstrate some unique approaches to media using the new technology of not only HD aquistion but the various codecs and delievery formats.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 02:42 PM   #93
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Dean,

I wholeheartedly agree with you.

I'm trying to make the point that no production format is a panacea for all needs. The future has never been brighter, and in part, because so much is available.

The film vs video thing has been hacked to death by myopic people on both "sides".

HD and HDV are not "the future". They are here now. Its been 6 or 7 years since I first shot HD. Sometimes it is the perfect choice as a production format. I think that how the distribution formats evolve will be somewhat independent of the production format. We will most likely see an increase in lower budget HD production as a result of this camera. Its probably not going to make much of a dent in 16&35mm.

I also think that we will see an increase in HD distribution, not as a result of an increase in HD production, but because Blu-ray/HD-DVD will make HD distribution formats more or less available to the average person, who spends the money for the HDTV and the player. Will the players be expensive at first?
Yes, but I remember paying $400 for my first cell phone, $190 for my first calculator, and $650 for my first CD burner. (a 2x)

If someone figures out some other cool option for distribution, that's gonna be great, because as the quality and availability of distribution formats increase, so will the need for production value in the product. This should stimulate more production, and opportunities, across the board.

I'm going to see if I can pre order the HVX from ZGC next week.
That being said, I don't think I'll be dumping my other cameras anytime soon. (Well...cept maybe the betacam)
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Old May 8th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #94
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Just to toss in a 'fer instance'. The Sundance winner from 2004 , PRIMER, is out on DVD. Here's a review off Amazon. I saw a clip of this, and it looked interesting. Shot on 16mm for $7,000. It's a 'small film', minimal characters and locations... Great "hook" and script... far more important than the format.


Primer won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and has drawn repeat viewers eager to crack writer-director-star Shane Carruth's puzzler of a time-travel drama. Carruth, an engineer by training, plays inventor Aaron, whose entrepreneurial partnership with fellow brainiac Abe (David Sullivan) unexpectedly results in a process for traveling back several hours in time. The men initially use these rewind sessions to succeed in the stock market. But a dark consequence of their daily journeys--the creation of Abe and Aaron's own doubles, wreaking havoc in the timeline--eventually preoccupies them with repairing altered realities. If this sounds like a very commercial, science fiction thriller, Primer is anything but that. Shot on 16mm for $7,000, the film has a tantalizing, sealed-in logic, akin to Memento, that forces viewers to see the fantastic with a certain dispassion. One may be tempted to sit through Primer again to more fully understand its paradoxes and ethical quandaries. --Tom Keogh
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Old May 9th, 2005, 04:45 AM   #95
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Richard, the issue of the legendary "$7000 budget" raises some interesting issues, but I think it's wondering off topic for this forum so I've answered over in the totem pole area...

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Old June 17th, 2005, 11:36 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Wilie
Here's an interesting quote from Robert Rodriguez in his interview on AOL:
Robert Rodriguez Interview
Here's an interesting quote from Robert Rodriguez in his interview on AOL:
Quote:
Question: Robert, what was the REAL cost of "El Mariachi?" Was it really 7k?

RobtRodrgz: Yes. Usually when they talk about a movie's budget for an independent film, they talk about the budget up to the point where it gets sold to a distributor. What they teach you in film school and what most filmmakers do is to make a 16mm film print and show that to distributors. A film print costs you anywhere from $20,000 on up. What I did was to edit on videotape and show the videotape to distributors. Columbia Pictures bought the film off of videotape. That's the first time a studio bought a film from videotape. So, you can save a lot of money by using today's technology and not following what everyone else does.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

RR's quote is confusing. The distributors bought the video version of the film because they knew he shot film and they could make a print from the original negative! Of course you don't have to make a print, but in answering that question, RR makes it sound like shooting his film, on film, was irrelevant.

Talk about biting the Kodak film hand that gave RR his opportunity, film transferred to video STILL LOOKS LIKE FILM, and then the distributors had the film negative to cut, from the quote you provided, that is not clear at all.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 12:46 AM   #97
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Alessanddro,

RR was/is a master of marketing. My point was to encourage everyone to be innovative in their thinking -- to take advantage of the current technology to produce/promote your "film".

Today, HD is the new, low-cost technology to provide relatively high-quality motion pictures. So, the question is, how do we take advantage of this technology to produce/promote our motion pictures??? Remember, more than anything else, movies are "magic"!
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Old June 18th, 2005, 01:27 AM   #98
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I would say that the comparisons between HD and Film are basically pointless since both promote different types of filmmaking.

Filmmaking with film requires much forethought in designing the production schedule, pre-scripting of dialogue and "essential" shot selection . HD, because it is cheaper to shoot per minute while recording audio (although there are hidden costs that rear their head later on), tends to promote a different style of shooting. RR has said this very thing himself.

But lets not proclaim that HD is some kind of emancipator because one can shoot more imagery for the same amount of money. HD provides an opportunity to shoot as much as one wants towards creating a final product, and that is an optimal way to make a film, but it is not the only way, and not necessarily the preferred way either.

-------------------------------------

Imagine you are in a Western and Clint Eastwood is your shooting buddy. You both pull out your weapons of choice and take aim at the enemy.

You pull out your HD gattling gun and fire several rounds and eventually down your target. Clint pulls out his six shooter and with one shot, nails his target.

You and Clint face each other and say "nice shot".

Would you really rather never have a Clint Eastwood type as a shooting partner? Would you really prefer that all your future partners be those who only use and can only succeed with a gattling gun, in essence being a mirror of your own tendencies?
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Old June 18th, 2005, 01:42 AM   #99
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Alessandro,

I beg to differ.
Quote:
Filmmaking with film requires much forethought in designing the production schedule, pre-scripting of dialogue and "essential" shot selection.
This is true regardless of whether the scene is shot with film, HD, or even mini-DV. Quality filmmaking has little to do with the recording medium.

For the record, I didn't proclaim anything. If you want to stick with film -- fine, that's your choice. Many of us are interested in exploring how emerging technologies can assist us in producing/promoting our independent motion pictures.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 01:44 AM   #100
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Apparently I was still rewriting my message when you responded to it so it might not read exactly the way you originally read it.

Although digital filmmakers can make a film in exactly the same way that it is made in film, to use the exact same approach tends to minimize the advantages of HD video.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 12:07 PM   #101
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[QUOTE=Alessandro Machi] Imagine you are in a Western and Clint Eastwood is your shooting buddy. You both pull out your weapons of choice and take aim at the enemy.
You pull out your HD gattling gun and fire several rounds and eventually down your target. Clint pulls out his six shooter and with one shot, nails his target.
You and Clint face each other and say "nice shot".


But the most likely scenario outside Hollywood fantasy would be that Clint does not accomplish the task with one shot. The trouble with these fantasy analogies and the many general arguments posited against digital technology is that somehow film users are all Clint Eastwoods, all erudite, sensitive, masters of their craft, while on the other hand, those that embrace digital methodology are unprepared, vision-less weaklings who must rely on luck- of course, this is bunk.
Consider the recent masterpieces that would not have been made if it weren't for the presence of Digital means. Look at the stunning feature debuts and docs that would have been smothered at conception in the elitist world of film. One could go on forever, but in the end we'll see who rides off into the sunset and who lies in the dust.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 01:15 PM   #102
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Quote:
One could go on forever, but in the end we'll see who rides off into the sunset and who lies in the dust.
It will be the filmmaker that is talented and has made a film that the vast majority of people (art film lovers and mainstream) think is a good movie and/or distributors think they can market.

I am a firm believer that the cream always rises to the top. Unless of course, the cream gives up before they get there.

And what you will be left with is "film" people sitting in the dust talking about how video is garbage because of whatever and "video" people sitting in the same dust talking about how affordable HD changed the world because of whatever.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 02:02 PM   #103
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Talent must prevail? I think not, history is replete with the husks of the talented, the geniuses who died in penury listening to the vacuous din of the pop culture of their day. One has to look no farther than most "Top One Hundred Movies" lists to see the atrocious relegation of talent and genius.
This is not a recent phenomenon, the Bard addressed the issues in a sonnet:


.... And right perfection wrongfully digrac'd,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue tied by authority...
...Tir'd with all these, from these I would be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

Last edited by Bill Anderson; June 18th, 2005 at 08:24 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 10:05 PM   #104
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[QUOTE=Bill Anderson]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessandro Machi
Imagine you are in a Western and Clint Eastwood is your shooting buddy. You both pull out your weapons of choice and take aim at the enemy.
You pull out your HD gattling gun and fire several rounds and eventually down your target. Clint pulls out his six shooter and with one shot, nails his target.
You and Clint face each other and say "nice shot".


But the most likely scenario outside Hollywood fantasy would be that Clint does not accomplish the task with one shot. The trouble with these fantasy analogies and the many general arguments posited against digital technology is that somehow film users are all Clint Eastwoods, all erudite, sensitive, masters of their craft, while on the other hand, those that embrace digital methodology are unprepared, vision-less weaklings who must rely on luck- of course, this is bunk.
Consider the recent masterpieces that would not have been made if it weren't for the presence of Digital means. Look at the stunning feature debuts and docs that would have been smothered at conception in the elitist world of film. One could go on forever, but in the end we'll see who rides off into the sunset and who lies in the dust.

This is the core fatalism that I have noticed about digiheads. "As long as one day film no longer exists, and HD does, than we have overcome the tyranny of film."

It's the same creepy sentiment that roils among different races. "One day, we will rule, and bla bla bla.......

Just enjoy both types of creativity, film and digital, without lusting for the day when only one form exists, as if somehow until that day comes, you are a victim of some sort.

The message I clearly made was digital filmmaking's stronger points is that one CAN make a film by breaking the common rules that exist when making a film on film. I question why anyone who has used digital will never ever make a film on film.

Instead of pointing an accusatory finger at what has been the stable, high resolution format for the last one hundred years, simply welcome the new.

My hope would be that all people don't fervently believe the more self absorbed the filmmaking process becomes, that somehow that is better than what came before, it will just be different.

As for the attempt to quash Clint Eastwood and his "magic bullet" it's funny to me how some scorn the analogy of Clint's magic bullet, yet final cut pro rode the coattails of the "magic bullet" process for several years.
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Old June 19th, 2005, 06:03 AM   #105
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I yesterday have seen Revenge of The Sith, digital projected, and I still like film more. Sometimes it was a tad soft, but I think that could have to do with the soft lightning maybe of Lucas.

I think this is a very interesting thread, but there aren't so many people who answered the original question: what would look better on the big screen, pure technical, 16mm or HD?

BTW: Please keep discussing, it's a very interesting read :-) I just noticed that when I started the question many people told it wasn't so very important which recording format you choose if you have a good story, actors, lightning,...
I know that, but I was curious to what would look the best on the big screen, just curious.
Most said S16mm if I'm correct.

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Ow, and ps: another question: what could you deliver with the HDX200 in combination with a Mini35?

And another off topic question, but maybe it's better to post that in the HD forum, sorry if it's stupid: are there many differences between the Varicam and the Cinealta, and exept for bigger chips, are there other differences between that and the HDX?
Well, I know there are many, but what actually? Interchangeble lens system... and?

Sorry if this is way too off-topic, got more curious ;-)
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